New app launches to create album cover artwork for DIY musicians

Blog by Louise Dodgson under Artist Managers, Creative & Branding

British musician Lee Jones has launched an app to help all DIY and Indie musicians after discovering that the tool he needed didn’t already exist. Hailing from Whitby in Yorkshire, Lee's musical travels have seen him playing in bands all over the world.

Last year he was living in Australia fronting a new wave indie band called the Solicitors when an urgent need for a bit of sleeve artwork sent him into a panic. Lee can handle the music side of the musician’s life but when it comes to designing artwork for anything, he, like so many musicians, is stumped.

When he couldn’t find an easy to use app to help him make high quality cover art without a degree in art and design, he teamed up with two old friends in the UK and together they created the app to solve this particular musician’s dilemma.

Named TAD, 'Thumbnail Art Design', we thought this app is something worth finding out about so we caught up with Lee to get a few more details.

So, Lee, what does the TAD app do?
TAD allows the user to fully customise their own high quality cover art. You can start from scratch or choose from a bunch of templates based on classic album designs.

You can add your band’s photo(s), logo, text, frames, filters and art elements. And then you can export all the way up to 3000 pixels to satisfy any online artwork requirements of stores like iTunes or Spotify.

How will it be of use to bands and artists?
When an artist or DJ finishes their new track or mix, the first thing they want to do is share that with their fans; part of the thrill of the whole recording process is looking forward to the release.

I know from first-hand experience how frustrating it can be to not have access to the resources to produce good artwork. Just making do with whatever I could knock together in a rush to get the music out, and that unfortunately makes the whole package suffer.

That won't be a problem anymore. Once the artist is done with their music the cover art will now be the easy part for once! 

What instigated the idea for this app?
As an independent musician and producer myself I’m often uploading my music online. I always struggled with the artwork. If I didn't have the skills (I didn't) or the money to pay a designer (I rarely did!) and I was on a deadline for song submission, it was a real pain.

One day I looked for an app to help me just knock up something really simple- just a photo and logo in a square. A one minute job. I searched and the app did not exist.

I couldn't believe it. So I made it!

Why do you feel the right imagery for bands is so important in the digital age?
There's a lot of music out there on the internet. A strong cover could really make the difference between whether a potential new fan clicks play or not. You could have some incredible music but if your artwork looks bad it's an instant turn-off.

On top of that, everyone is so much more aware of design, image and branding in the internet era so it really helps if you can project a distinct and consistent image across everything you do. This app helps you do that.

How much does the app cost?
The app costs nothing at the moment as we’re running a free launch period offer. Once the launch period is over the app will be priced at US $1.99.

Are there any advantages of using the app over creating your own artwork or getting a designer involved?
Well the app is for creating your own artwork. It's just a much simpler platform than Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator. It was made specifically for musicians who didn't possess the skill set for using these programs.

Other than the obvious financial benefit for musicians (most of whom are on a shoestring budget), the app also gives the artist the freedom to experiment and find their own vision.

You can download the TAD app here and install now. And here’s a great video that shows you exactly how it can help you create great artwork in minutes:



The Art of Marrying Art & Design


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